Amazing Mazes

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MazeThey fascinate and confuse, mesmerise and mystify – mazes or labyrinths provide plenty of mystery and mayhem! Read on to discover some fascinating facts about these compelling creations, along with details of some of the world’s most famous mazes.

Mazes have a long history – they’re thought to date back at least 4000 years. Originally, though, they weren’t designed as puzzles, but more as a single, winding path. During Medieval times, mazes were often used as a form of protection to confuse enemy attackers from getting close to buildings such as castles and stop unwanted visitors.

The first puzzle mazes are believed to originate from the Italian renaissance period and were designed especially for the amusement of prominent members of Royalty. It wasn’t until the 19th century that the first hedge mazes were built for members of the public to enjoy. Since then, they’ve proved to be a constant hit. As a nation, Japan, in particular, became particularly keen on mazes during the 1980s and built over 200 of the tricky creations.
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Fast Facts About Barbie

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Barbie was first conceived by Ruth Handler, who was inspired by a German doll called “Lilli”. Ruth and her husband, Elliot, joined with a man named Harold Mattson and formed the Mattel toy company, and launched the first Barbie doll in 1958.

Barbie and Ken were named after the Handler’s own children. Barbie’s wardrobe was originally designed by Charlotte Johnson, a well known and respected fashion designer. Over the next ten years, the original Barbie family was created and included Midge, Allan, Skipper, Scooter, and Ricky, in addition to Barbie and Ken.

Since 1965, over 60 new family members and friends have been added to the Barbie and Ken collection. If Barbie were life-sized, her measurements would have originally been 39-23-33, but she has since been slightly updated to reflect the changing size of American and global consumers.

The History of Blackjack

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BlackjackThe origin of blackjack, also known as twenty-one, can only be guessed at with quite a bit of speculation.  Card games were quite the rage in France; and Frenchmen played many different games, as a source of social entertainment.  French casinos offered this game of chance to its patrons along with other games of chance.

As with many games, individual spins or variations most likely were added to the basic game.  Blackjack, as we know it today, was probably a bit different in the beginning stages of it development. 

This game, which had vast popularity in many countries, most probably had its early beginnings in France.  The first written mention of this game dated back to the seventeenth century, when it was referred to as “twenty and one” or “vingt-et-un.”  The existence of this written notation led many to the belief that France is indeed the birthplace of blackjack.
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Trivia on Toys

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Toys* The Barbie Doll was created in 1959 by Ruth Handler. Barbie was named after her daughter. In 1961, Ken was released. He was named after Handler’s son.

* The Rubik’s Cube debuted at the Nuremberg Toy Show in 1979. It was invented by Hungarian scientist, Erno Rubik. By 1982, over 100 million Rubik’s Cubes had been sold.

* In 1945, Richard and Betty James invented the Slinky. It takes 80 feet of wire to make just one Slinky. By 2000, a quarter of a billion Slinkys had been sold around the world.

* The first Easy Bake Oven was released in 1963 and it was turquoise. 500,000 were sold in the first year it was on the market. In 1969, the color was updated to avocado green and a fake clock and oven hood were added. Avocado green was replaced in 1970 by Harvest Gold and a microwave version was released in 1978. More than 16 billion Easy Bake Ovens had been sold by 1997.

Hula Hoop Trivia

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Hula HoopThe hula hoop is an ancient that has been used for centuries to entertain children. Do you remember having a hula hoop when you were a child? Chances are you do, and today you can still buy a hula hoop for the original price of $1.98.

* The hula hoop is a toy that was played with in ancient times.

* Way back then they were made out of bamboo, grass, metal, vines or wood.
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Interesting Facts about Playing Cards

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Poker* A standard deck of playing cards consists of 52 cards, of which there are four suits – two red, which are diamonds and hearts and two black, which are clubs and spades.

* The colored suits of the cards represent day and night.

* The four suits consist of 13 cards each. They represent the four quarters of the year, which have 13 weeks each.

* The four suits also represent the four phases of the moon, which are new, first quarter, full and waning or last quarter.
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Fun Facts About Poker

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PokerPoker is gaining in popularity every year, and the past few years have been unprecedented in terms of the attention poker has been gaining.  Poker tournaments are a huge draw, both live and on television, and the most successful poker players are treated like sports heroes.

Poker is the most popular form of the class of card games known as vying games.  What makes poker a vying game is that the players make their bets based on a partially, or even completely, concealed set of cards.  This means that strategy is essential to success, as is the proverbial “poker face.”

It is believed that poker began as a card gave played with a deck of only 20 cards.  That game, described in 1829 by the English actor Joseph Crowell, consisted of four players betting on whose hand was most valuable. 
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